Jazz Records

NOTE: This site is currently under re-construction and is in need of some editing and additions. Nevertheless, I've decided to keep it online for reference purposes.

This is a list of jazz records. They are all garded with numbers 1-10 with the maximum score being 10. The criteria and the way I rate records is similar to the style of Robert Christgau and Tom Hull, even if I use numbers instead of letter grades. If I feel a more elaborate explanation of the grading system is needed, I'll add one later. For now, all you need to know is this:

Any record rated 7 or higher I feel is well worth owning; Any record rated 8 - 10 is strongly recommended.

(The grades are liable to change. Records marked n/a are records I for whatever reason have not given a grade yet). Records by groups without any clear leader may be listed twice. The dates and labels are taken from various sources. Compilations have recording dates, regular records have year of release. If you find any mistakes do not hesitate to let me know by sending me an e-mail at perfectsounds.chrismonsen@[REMOVETHIS]gmail.com.

Artists (leaders sorted by last name)

A - C

Abdullah, Ahmed:
- Ahmed Abdullah & his Solomonic Quintet (Silkheart, 1987) n/a

Abrams, Muhal Richard:
- Levels and Degrees of Light (Delmark, 1967) 6
- Afrisong (Whynot, 1975) n/a
- Things to Come From Those Now Gone (Delmark, 1976) n/a
- Rejoicing With the Light (Black Saint, 1983) n/a
- The Hearinga Suite (Black Saint, 1989) n/a
- Blu Blu Blu (Black Saint, 1991) 8
- Souldance: Duets with Fred Anderson and George Lewis (Pi Rcordings, 2011) n/a

Adderley, Cannonball:

- Something Else (Blue Note, 1958) 8
- The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago (Riverside, 1959) n/a
Know What I Mean (Riverside, 1961) n/a
- w/Nancy Wilson: Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley (Blue Note, 1962) n/a


Adderley, Nat:
- Work Song (Riverside, 1960) 8

- That's Right!: Nat Adderley and The Big Sax Section (Riverside, 1960) n/a
- Calling out Loud (A&M, 1968) n/a

Air (Fred Hopkins, Steve McCall, Henry Threadgill):
- Air Song (1975) 8
- Air Raid (1976) 9
- Live Air (Black Saint, 1976) 6
- Air Time (Nessa, 1977/1978) 8
- Montreux Suisse (Arista Novus, 1978) 7
- Open Air Suit (Arista Novus, 1978) 7
- Air Lore (RCA, 1979) 10
- Air Mail (Black Saint, 1980) 7
- 80 Degrees Below '82 (Antilles, 1982) 10
- New
Air: Live at the Montreal International Jazz Festival (Black Saint, 1983/1984) 8
- New Air feat. Cassandra Wilson: Air Show No. 1 (Black Saint, 1986) 7

Ali, Rashied:
- w/Charles Gayle & William Parker: By Any Means: Live at Crescendo (Ayler Rec., 2007) 7
- w/Henry Grimes: Spirits Aloft (Porter, 2010) 7

Akinmusire, Ambrose:
- Prelude to Cora (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2009) n/a
- When the Heart Emerges Glistening (EMI, 2011) 6
- The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint (Blue note, 2014) 6

Alessi, Ralph:

- This Against That: Look (Between the Lines, 2006) n/a
- Cognitive Dissonance (CAM Jazz, 2010) n/a
- Baida (ECM, 2013) 8
- Quiver (ECM, 2016) n/a

Allen, Geri:
- Geri Allen Trio: The Printmakers (Minor Music, 1984) 8
- The Nurturer (Blue Note, 1991) n/a 
- Maroons (Blue Note, 1992) n/a
- Some Aspects of Water (Storyville, 1997) n/a


Allen, Henry "Red":
- World on a String (Bluebird/RCA, 1957) 9
- The Henry Allen Collection, Vol. 1 (Collector's Choice, 1992) n/a



Allen, J.D. (aka JD Allen, JD Allen III):
- JD Allen Trio: I Am I Am (Sunnyside, 2008) n/a
- JD Allen Trio: Shine! (Sunnyside, 2009) 8 

Allison, Ben:
- Cowboy Justice (Palmetto, 2006) 7
- Little Things Run The World (Palmetto, 2008) 8

- Think Free (Palmetto, 2009) 6
- Action-Refraction (Palmetto, 2011) 7
- Union Square (Abeat, 2012) 8
- The Stars Look Very Different Today (Sonic Camera Records) 6

Allison, Mose:
- I Don't Worry About a Thing (Atlantis, 1962) 7

Amalgam:
- Prayer for Peace (FMR/Trasatlantic, 1969) 9
- Innovation (FMR, 1974) n/a

Ammons, Gene:
- The Happy Blues (Prestige, 1956) n/a
- Jammin' With Gene (Prestige, 1956) n/a
- The Big Sound (Prestige, 1958) n/a
- Boss Tenor (Prestige, 1960) 9

Andersen, Arild:
- Clouds In My Head (ECM, 1975) n/a
- Hyperborean (ECM, 1996) n/a
- w/Tommy Smith & Paolo Vinaccia: Mira (ECM, 2012) 5

Anderson, Fred:
- The Missing Link (Nessa, rec. 1979, rel. 1984) n/a

- w/Hamid Drake, William Parker: Blue Winter (Eremite, 2005) 8
- w/Hamid Drake: From the River to the Ocean (Thrill Jockey, 2007) 7

Angles/Angles 8/Angles 9 (Martin Küchen):
- Epileptical West - Live in Coimbra (Clean Feed, 2010) 8
- Angles 9: Injuries (Clean Feed, 2014) 7

Argue, Darcy James:
- Secret Society: Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam, 2009) 7
- Secret Society: Brooklyn Babylon (New Amsterdam, 2013) 6

Armstrong, Louis:
- The Hot Fives, Volume I (Columbia, 1925) 9
- The Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, Volume II (Columbia, 1926) 8
- The Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, Volume III (Columbia, 1927) 9
- Volume IV: Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines (Columbia, 1927) 10
- Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 1923-34 (Columbia/Legacy) 10
- 16 Most Requested Songs (Columbia, 1954-66) 9

Art Ensemble of Chicago:

- People In Sorrow (Nessa, 1969) 8
- A Jackson in your House/Message to our Folks (Varese, 1969) 6
- Les Stances A Sophie (Universal Sound, 1970) 8
- Phase One (America, 1971) 8
- Bap-Tizum (Koch Jazz, 1972) 6
- Fanfare for the Warriors (Koch Jazz, 1973) 7
- Chi-Congo (Paula, 1973) 8

- Nice Guys (ECM, 1979) n/a
- Full Force (ECM, 1980) n/a
- Urban Bushmen (ECM, 1982) n/a
- The Third Decade (ECM, 1984) 7

Atomic:
- Feet Music (Jazzland Rec., 2001) 7
- Boom Boom (Jazzland Rec., 2003) 7
- The Bikini Tapes (Jazzland Rec., 2005) n/a
-
Happy New Ears (Jazzland Rec., 2006) 8
- Here Comes Everybody (Jazzland Rec., 2011) n/a
- There Is a Hole In the Mountain (Jazzland Rec., 2013) 7
- Lucidity (Jazzland Rec. 2015) n/a

Ayler, Albert:

- Spiritual Unity (ESP, 1964) 10
- Bells (ESP/Calibre, 1965) 7
- Spirits Rejoice (ESP/Calibre, 1965) 8
- Live in Greenwich Village, The Complete Impulse Sessions (Impulse!, 1998) 8
- Love Cry (Impulse!, 1967) 6
- Holy Ghost: Rare and Unissued Recordings (1962-1970) (Revenant, 2004) 7

The Bad Plus:
- The Bad Plus (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2001) n/a
- These Are the Vistas (Columbia, 2003)
7
- Give (Columbia, 2004) n/a
- Prog (Heads Up, 2007) n/a

Bang, Billy:
- Billy Bang's Survival Ensemble: New York Collage (Anima, 1978) n/a
- Changing Seasons (Bellows, 1980) n/a
- Billy Bang Quintet: Rainbow Gladiator (Soul Note, 1981) 8
- w/ The Jazz Doctors: Intensive Care (Cadillac, 1984) 8
- Billy Bang Sextet: The Fire From Within (Soul Note, 1985) 7
- Bang On! (Justin Time, 1997) 7
- Vietnam: The Aftermath (Justin Time, 2001) 9
- Vietnam: Reflections (Justin Time, 2004) 7
- w/Sirone: Sirone Bang Ensemble: Configuration (Silkheart) 8
- Quintet feat. Frank Lowe: Above and Beynd: An Evening in Grand Rapids (Justin Time, 2007) 7
- Prayer for Peace (TUM, 2010, rec. 2008) 8

Bartz, Gary:

- Another Earth (Milestone, 1969) 7
- There Goes the Neighborhood (Candid, 1990) n/a

Basie, Count:

- The Complete Decca Recordings (GRP, 1937/1992) 8
- The Best of Early Basie (GRP, 1996) 9


Bechet, Sidney:

- Young Sidney Bechet 1923-1925 (Timeless, 1998) 6
- Master Takes: Victor Sessions (Bluebird/RCA, 1932-1943) n/a
- Ken Burns Jazz (Columbia/Legacy, 2000) 8


Beiderbecke, Bix:

- Bix Beiderbecke, Vol. 1: Singing the Blues (Columbia, 1927) 9

Berne, Tim:
- Mutant Variations (Soul Note, 1984) 7
- Sanctified Dreams (Columbia/Koch, 1988)

- Big Satan: I Think They Liked It Honey (Winter & Winter, 1997) 7
- Paraphrase: Pre-Emptive Denial (Screwgun Records, 2005) 8
- Insomnia (Clean Feed, 2011) n/a
- Snake Oil (ECM, 2012) n/a
- Tim Berne's Snakeoil: Shadowman (ECM, 2013) 7

Blakey, Art:
- Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers with Thelonious Monk (Atlantic, 1957) 8
- Moanin' (Blue Note, 1958) 7
- Roots and Herbs (Blue Note, 1961) 9


Bley, Paul:

- Introducing Paul Bley (Debut OJC, 1953) n/a
- The Fabulous Paul Bley Quintet (Musidisc, 1958) n/a


Bloom, Jane Ira:
- Mighty Lights (Enja, 1982) n/a
- Modern Drama (Columbia, 1987) n/a
- Slalom (Columbia, 1988) n/a

- Early Americans (Outline, 2016) 8
 

Blumiett, Hamiet:
- Resolution (Black Saint, 1978) n/a
- Ebu (Soul Note, 1984) 6

Blythe, Arthur:
- In the Tradition (Columbia, 1979) n/a
- Lennox Avenue Breakdown (Sony/Koch, 1979) 9
- Focus (Savant, 2002) 8


Bowie, Lester:
- The 5th Power (Black Saint, 1978) 8
- The Fire This Time (In+Out, 1992)
8

Boykins, Ronnie:
- The Will Come, Is Now (ESP Disk, 1967-75) n/a

Braxton, Anthony:
- Three Compositions of New Jazz (Delmark, 1968) n/a
- For Alto (Delmark, 1969) 6
- Creative Orchestra Music 1976 (Arista, 1976) 9
- Six Compositions (Quartet) 1984 (Black Saint, 1984) 8
- Six Monk's Compositions (1987) 8
- w/Milford Graves & William Parker: Beyond Quantum (Tzadik, 2008) 8

Brooks, Roy:
- The Free Slave (Muse Records, 1970) 7

Brooks, Tina:
- Minor Move [(Blue Note, 1958) n/a

Brown, Clifford:
- The Beginning and the End (Columbia, 1952) n/a
- A Study in Brown (EmArcy, 1955) 8
- Alone Together: The Best of the Mercury Years (w/ Max Roach) (Verve) 7

Brown, Marion:
- Why Not? (ESP, 1966) 8
- Geechee Recollections (Impulse!, 1973) n/a

Brown, Rob:
- Crown Trunk Root Funk (AUM Fidelity, 2008) 7

Brubeck, Dave:

- Time Out (Columbia, 1959) 8

Brötzmann, Peter:
- Machine Gun (FMP, 1968) 6
- 14 Love Poems Plus 10 More (FMP, 1984 - 2004 edt.) n/a
- w/Fred Hopkins & Rashied Ali: Songlines (FMP, 1994) 9
- Die Like a Dog Quartet (w/Hamid Drake, Toshinori Kondo & William Parker): Fragments of Music, Life & Death of Albert Ayler (FMP, 1994) n/a
- w/ Toshinori Kondo, Paal Nilssen-Love & Massiomo Pupillo: Hairy Bones (Okka, 2009) 7


Byard, Jaki:
- Out Front (Prestige/OJC, 1961) n/a
- The Jaki Byard Experience (Prestige/OJC, 1968) n/a

Byas, Don:

- Savoy Jam Party (Savoy, 1944/1995) 8

Byrd, Donald:

- Off to the Races (Blue Note, 1959) n/a
- Free Form (Blue Note, 1962) n/a
- A New Perspective (Blue Note, 1963) 5 

Byron, Don:
- Tuskegee Experiment (Elektra Nonesuch, 1992) 7
- Music for Six Musicians (Elektra Nonesuch, 1994) n/a

Campbell, Roy:

- Akhenaten Suite (AUM Fidelity, 2007) 7

Carter, James:

- The Real Quiet Storm (Atlantic, 1995) 7
- Conversin' With the Elders (Atlantic, 1996) 8
- In Carterian Fashion (Atlantic, 1998) n/a
- Chasin' the Gypsy (Atlantic, 2000) 8
- Layin' in the Cut (Atlantic, 2000) 7
- w/Cyrus Chestnut/Reginald Veal/Ali Jackson: Gold Sounds (Brown Brothers,2005) 6
- Presnt Tense (EmArcy, 2008) 6

Carter, John:

- John Carter & Bobby Bradford Quartet: Seeking (Hat Art, 1969) 8
- Dauwhe (Black Saint, 1982) 8
- Castles of Ghana (Grammavision, 1985) n/a
- Fields (Grammavision, 1988) n/a

Chaloff, Serge:
- Blue Serge (Capitol, 1956) 8

Cherry, Don:
- Complete Communion (Blue Note, 1965) 8
- Where Is Brooklyn? (Blue Note, 1966) n/a
- Brown Rice (A&M, 1975)
7

- w/Dewey Redman, Charlie Haden & Ed Blackwell: Old and New Dreams (Black Saint, 1977) 8


Clark, Sonny:

- Sonny's Crib (Blue Note, 1957) 7
- Cool Struttin' (Blue Note, 1958) 6


Cline, Nels:

- New Monestary - A View Into the Music of Andrew Hill (Cryptogramophono, 2006) 7
- Initiate (Cryptogramophone, 2010) 7

Coleman, Ornette:
- The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic, 1959) 10
- Change of the Century (Atlantic, 1960) 9
- This is Our Music (Atlantic, 1961) 8
- Free Jazz (Atlantic, 1961) 7
- Ornette! (Atlantic, 1962) 10
- Ornette on Tenor (Atlantic, 1962) n/a
- At the Golden Circle, Volume One (Blue Note, 1965) 8
- At the Golden Circle, Volume Two (Blue Note, 1965) 8
- New York Is Now (Blue note, 1968) n/a
- Love Call (Blue Note, 1968) n/a
- Ornette at 12 (Impulse!, 1969) n/a
- The Art of the Improvisers (Atlantic, 1961/1970) n/a
- Crisis! (Impulse!, 1972) n/a
- Science Fiction (Columbia) 9
- The Complete Science Fiction Sessions (Columbia Legacy, 1972/2000) n/a
- Skies of America (Columbia Legacy, 1972) n/a
- Dancing in Your Head (A&M, 1977) 10
- Body Meta (Verve, 1978) n/a
- Of Human Feelings (Antilles, 1982) 8
- In All Languages (Harmolodic/Verve, 1987) 8
- Sound Grammar (Sound Grammar, 2006) 10

Coleman, Steve:
- And Five Elements: Rhythm People (The Resurrection of Creative Black Civilizaton) (Novus, 1990) n/a
- Rhythm In Mind (Novus, 1992) 7
- And Five Elements: Black Science (Novus, 1991) n/a
- And Five Elements: The Tao of Mad Phat < Fringe Zones > (RCA, 1993) n/a
- And Five Elements: The Mancy of Sound (Pi Recording, 2011) n/a
- And Five Elements: Functional Arrythmias (Pi Recordings, 2013) 8
- An the Council of Balance: Synovial Joints (Pi Recordings, 2015) 7

Coltrane, John:
- Blue Train (Blue Note, 1957) 6
- Soultrane (Prestige OJC, 1958) n/a
- Giant Steps (Atlantic, 1959) 8
- My Favorite Things (Atlantic, 1960) 9
- Olé Coltrane (Atlantic, 1961) 9
- The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions (Impulse, 1961) 8
- Live at the Village Vanguard - the Master Takes (Impulse, 1961) 10
- Impressions (Impulse, 1961) 7
- Ballads (Impulse, 1962) n/a
- Afro Blue Impressions (Pablo, 1963) 7
- Coltrane Live at Birdland (Impulse, 1963) n/a
- Crescent (Impulse, 1964) n/a
- A Love Supreme (Impulse, 1964) 10
- Ascension (Impulse, 1965) 7
- Sun Ship (Impulse, 1965) n/a
- First Meditations (Impulse, 1965) n/a
- Interstellar Space (Impulse, 1967) 7

Conley, Sean:
- Re:Action (Clean Feed, 2008) n/a

Cooper-Moore:
- w/Assif Tsahar & Chad Taylor: Digital Primitives (Hopscotch, 2007) 8

- Digital Primitives (w/Assif Tsahar & Chad Taylor): Hum Crackle & Pop (Hopscotch, 2009) 8

Counce, Curtis:

- Landslide (Contemporary/OJC, 1957) 8

Crispell, Marylin:
- Spirit Music (Cadence, 1982) n/a
- Gaia (Leo Records, 1987) n/a
- Overlapping Hands: Eight Segments (FMP, 1990) n/a
- Nothing Ever Was, Anyway: Music of Annette Peacock (ECM, 1997) 7

Criss, Sonny:
- Up, Up and Away (Prestige, 1967) n/a